View Full Version : Did Elvis have any singing lessons?
02-07-2011, 12:42 PM
Obviously Elvis had a natural raw talent displayed in the early 50's recordings, particularly the Sun sessions. However in the early 60's Elvis' voice was stronger and richer and many of his songs almost operatic in quality, such as 'Its now or never' and 'Surrender'. This leads me to wonder if Elvis had any voice coaching to achieve the strength and range required for the type of song he recorded in the early 60's. I have not heard of Elvis having lessons does anyone here know if he did?
02-07-2011, 12:49 PM
The understanding that I have always had is that Elvis original "Sun" era voice came as a result of natural talent and singing in a Pentecostal church. I also read that Charlie Hodge was a very accomplished singer and that from the time he joined Elvis until Elvis died that Charlie worked with Elvis on his voice.
I am pretty sure he never had a lesson-but I know one of the Jordanaires (I think Hugh) said he helped Elvis work on how to make the high vocal climb on the ending of "Its Now or Never" and also on the ending of "Surrender".
Elvis stretched his voice by constantly singing and working on his voice (the home recordings show that) I think he would hear a singer do something vocally and then would work on how it was done from a vocal standpoint......and IMO this is what made him become not just a good singer but it made him one of the greatest. He tried all styles, all types of music and it all ended up being-ELVIS.
No formal lessons, but he did pick up tips from people, as already stated. Charlie did work with him on technique. I do think that the Jordanaires story relates to Surrender only and has got mixed up in the telling. The G# at the end of It's Now or Never was fairly comfortable for him really.
02-08-2011, 03:56 AM
True! Gordon Stoker told that he helped Elvis on various occasions. But those moments can't be considered to have been lessons.
Charlie Hodge also mentioned that during the Army days, he helped Elvis to develop his voice. This resulted in a fuller sound (as can be heart on tracks like Are You Lonesome Tonight) and Elvis liking other ways of singing.
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